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How much do schools pay?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by pinkkaz, Oct 14, 2015.

  1. pinkkaz

    pinkkaz New commenter

    Hi everyone,

    Is anyone in a position to say what schools pay an agency for a supply teacher (day-to-day)? I'm thinking of contacting schools independently as I'm a maths teacher and want to undercut the agency rate, whilst getting a good rate myself, but not sure how high to go!

  2. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    From what I can gather from Workplace Dilemmas, where there has been a discussion about what to do after resigning - if you teach a shortage subject (which you do) then you can command a rate upwards of £150 per day.

    In the primary sector agencies charge schools in the South East and London upwards of £200 per day: supply teachers earn about half of the agency fee (based on information gleaned from a colleague who books supply teachers).
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    A few years ago I met a supply teacher who charged schools £180 per day. That was six years ago.

    Are you working as a supply teacher now? In addition to your subject knowledge, you will have to be able manage classes.
  4. teacha

    teacha Occasional commenter

    When I told the Head of the school where I am on long term supply how much I got paid, she was really shocked as she said that the agency are charging her a fortune for me. I would therefore assume that she is being charged around £200 for my services, of which I see a fraction of that!
  5. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    Don't bother undercutting the agencies. Why do yourself out of money? Charge the going rate. Maths is a shortage subject.
    As far as I know, most schools booking day to day ad hoc cover, are looking for people who can just nip around schools doing all subjects. Do you do primary because that's where the real shortage of maths specialists is. You will inevitably find that schools are looking for long term placments in maths as there are still several unmanned jobs around the country.
    Whether short or long term, a day's work is a day's work so charge what you trained and studied to earn.
    Research carried out by the NUT shows that agencies on average are charging schools between £180 - £210 per day. Sometimes a bit more or a bit less.
    Here's the important bit.
    If a schools hires you direct, they have to pay your daily rate (very few have opted not to pay to scale)
    Your daily rate is calculated at your pay spine point, so if you are M6 it would be approx £32,000 divided by the number of working days (195) = about £165 per day.
    Now you have to factor in the schools oncosts on to that. They have to pay the employer's NI contribution at 9% plus the employer's pension contribution which is now about 10%, rising in April to 16%. So that adds about a further £40.
    If it goes through their payroll, they will take PAYE out for you unless you set yourself up as a limited company and work out the tax with an accountant at the end of of the financial year.
  6. Marijke

    Marijke New commenter

    Thanks for this nearmiss. I'm looking at doing supply after Christmas. I've handed in my notice today as maths HoD (after 7 years of teaching) and am completely new to the supply world but am thinking of contacting schools myself and invoicing them as a 'sole trader' sort of company. Sorry for sounding really naive but if I would do that, would schools pay all the extras you mention automatically like pension contributions etc? Or would you recommend setting up a limited company? I am on UPS 2; would that be considered my daily rate (whatever ips
  7. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    You don't need to set up a limited company, you can register as self-employed with HMRC. You can generate simple invoices for each supply assignment. You won't need to keep complicated accounts either - a simple record of outgoings (petrol, travelling expenses) and income is sufficient either in a hardback book or in a spreadsheet. At the end of the tax year you will need to complete a self-assessment online, which is also fairly straightforward. You will have to pay income tax and Class 2/Class 4 NI contributions twice a year. One payment (usually January) will be 'on account', where HMRC request a payment based on the previous year's profit (income minus outgoings).

    A limited (by guarantee) company is a useful vehicle if you intend to employ others, but you will need to produce audited accounts. The structure of the company also needs to be defined through Articles and Memorundum of Association.

    The biggest advantage of being paid through a school's payroll is that contributions to TPS can continue - quite important if you are fairly near retirement age.

    Going it alone is not for the faint hearted but working for yourself can be very rewarding.
    Marijke likes this.
  8. sirspamalotless

    sirspamalotless Occasional commenter

    Marijke likes this.
  9. Marijke

    Marijke New commenter

    Thank you both so much for this! Sounds very straightforward and encouraging!
  10. teacha

    teacha Occasional commenter

    I once did supply directly through a school as I knew the Head teacher. I was paid to scale and got my pension contributions. It would be so much better if every school did this, as they would know exactly where their money was going..... rather than paying a fortune to agencies, whilst the teacher only got a fraction of the amount.
  11. pinkkaz

    pinkkaz New commenter

    Yep I'd be on M5 if I was working in a permanent post (assuming the school kept to the old regime of course!) so I'll work out what that is per day. Thanks everyone for the info - I'm going to try and get this sorted in the next couple of weeks. I've started tutoring so I need to register as self-employed in any case...
  12. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    Marijke and pinkkaz like this.
  13. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    Thanks for that, Snowyhead.
    It would be handy to extend this thread into the realms of sole trader v limited company to see which model of self-employment is most workable and if either has any advantages.
    I don't know about the tax and expenses claims rights for either approach.
    Is anyone here knowledgeable about that?
    What is certain, is that either way, you still can't pay into your Teachers's Pension Scheme unless you are employed by a Service Provider which neither agency workers nor self employed are. Only teachers employed by a school, college, private school or institution whose sole purpose is statutory education can be recognised by the TPS.
    Either way, as a qualified teacher, even if you are not employed by a school or an agency, you can still remain a union member.
    I think information about alternative models of employment is something that supply teachers really need and something the union ought to add to its briefing pages. Members should write to the Executive to propose this. Conference motions are being tabled right now, so contact your branch, attend the next meeting, to ensure that supply matters are being prioritised.
    snowyhead and Marijke like this.
  14. Twinklefoottoe

    Twinklefoottoe Senior commenter

    Computer Science, secondary school, SE England, we are paying £230 a day for our supply. They are good and are longish term, prepare, deliver and mark lessons, input data into SIMs, attend departmental meetings and parents evenings, but no other nonsense, like INSET, performance management, reviews, evaluations data rubbish.

    The last few we have employed set up a limited company. This is the route I have gone down (quit and leaving at Christmas after spending ages doing "assessments" just three weeks back into the Autumn term, and the "analysis" of them bear no resemblance to what I know about each student. Had an epiphany moment after weeks of deliberating, and quit).

    Set up a limited company online, £120. You need a friend or close relative to be the secretary (they don't do anything). It took about an hour to pick the name, work out what I was doing, talk to my accountant friend, fill in the form and pay.

    Have a friend who is an accountant, and will charge me £600 per year to audit the accounts, advice on saving tax, do the payroll for me, pay NI for me, plus advice on setting up accounts, which is actually very easy. You have one list for expenses and another list for payments received. Tax is paid at corporation tax. You will typically pay more UK tax than Facebook and Amazon combined!

    Once a year, you need to return a form to Companies House, confirming no change of any details. It costs about £20 a year.

    I will pay myself £900 a month, to avoid paying tax on earnings, and then two annual dividend payments as appropriate.

    You need to be careful not to fall foul of IR35 regs, but you should be okay if contracts don't last too long. You need to read about this.

    You advertise yourself by setting up a mailing list of schools and colleges you'd work in. Then fire off CVs to the Head and HoD of ICT a month or so before you are looking for work, and again a week or so before you look. My mailshot will cost about £40 a time.

    You might want to set up linked in, Facebook, Twitter accounts. I will probably set up a website or Facebook account, just for work.

    You need a killer CV, ideally great references, a fabulous cover letter and photos (I have one on my CV, which I've already done and printed out on top quality pastel paper and have some quality envelopes).

    When you get work, be clear about what is and isn't included. This works best if you are in a heavily shortage subject like mine or Maths. You can essentially tell schools within reason.

    Complete a time sheet each week and invoice the school.

    You will also need to set up a business bank account. A bit of faffing around but no big deal. All banks have deals for new companies.

    Lots of things can be put on expenses. Treat yourself to a new computer, new phone, camera, pay the phone bill, petrol, any office equipment you fancy, some furniture.

    I hope this helps someone with making the decision that's right for them. I messed about between sole trader and limited company, and decided it might be fun to have a company, as I can put any other activities though it, but also, I just think it looks better.
    pinkkaz and Marijke like this.
  15. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    Agree. I think individuals need to weigh up the pros and cons of limited company status vs becoming a self-employed sole trader.

    Personally, I wouldn't want the hassle of forming a limited company nor paying corporation tax and accountant's fees. I have experience of setting up my partner as self-employed, keep accounts up-to-date and completing the annual self-assessment. Sole trader status suits our needs at present and we can employ someone if need be and use free HMRC software for payroll. Work has been rolling in since the business (nothing related to education) launched so at present we see no real need to become a limited company.
  16. Marijke

    Marijke New commenter

    I have been reading up a bit (financial times 'business start up 2015' guide) and like the idea of a limited company, especially for the corporation tax and dividends. I was also very interested in reading @Twinklefoottoe 's account of what is expected of their supply teachers (and the fact that our epiphany moment was for similar reasons). Do they get PPA time for marking and planning and data inputting? Is it basically the timetable of the teacher they're replacing? And one more question sorry, would you recommend taking out insurance in case you're off ill for a couple of weeks?
  17. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    You would have to make that decision yourself @Marijke. If you have no other income stream (partner's income, property rental income etc) then it might be worth investigating income protection to cover you in the event you could not work due to an accident or long term sickness. Bear in mind that many insurers won't pay out for the first four weeks that you are unable to work, so you would need to think about having some savings stashed away to cover this period. You do need to take specialist advice on this.
    Marijke likes this.
  18. PizzoCalabro

    PizzoCalabro Established commenter

    I am an NQT who has done year's supply Secondary) thru agencies since qualifying. I mailshotted some local schools in the summer term, have now done a number of days' supply at two of those this term. They are are paying me £150, PAYE and pension contributions. Hoping to pick up another couple and being able to dispense with the agencies. I don't know if I am undercharging, but at the moment it suits ma and as they are local, minimal travel costs (can cycle to both in 10 mins, or bus if raining).
    snowyhead likes this.
  19. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    @PizzoCalabro it's worth looking at the guidance I have added to this forum from the NUT. In the appendices they have produced a chart which takes old payscales and converts them to daily rates. The old MPS 5 equates to about £153 per day, so your rate is about right.
  20. Marijke

    Marijke New commenter

    Some more advice needed please ;)
    Notice handed in last week, very happy with the decision, looking into setting up my own company etc. to do supply and tutoring (I am maths HoD). My head teacher was very supportive when I spoke to him on Friday and asked if I wanted to leave teaching all together. I told him about my intention to write to schools in the area, telling them I'm available for supply and that I need to be in control of my life and e.g. Not work if I have got something on with the children etc. Now listen to this... He's offered me supply in my school, on my terms, starting in January. He knows I want to teach but not do any of the stuff that goes with it.


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